Women’s soccer: No. 6 UVA wins 2-1 at No. 11 Penn State

uva soccerThe Cavaliers weathered soggy conditions and a second-half surge from the Nittany Lions on the road Sunday (Sept. 9) afternoon as No. 6 UVA (7-0-0) picked up a 2-1 victory over No. 11 Penn State (4-3-0).

Virginia built a 2-0 lead in the first half and maintained the lead down the stretch despite a furious rally attempt by Penn State down the stretch in the second half. Goals from Brianna Westrup (Corona del Mar, Calif.) and freshman Rebecca Jarrett (Washington Township, N.J.) lifted the Cavaliers to the victory.

It is the fourth straight win over Penn State by Virginia in the series. The Cavaliers won meetings with the Nittany Lions in each of the previous two seasons and a meeting in 2013 as part of the current four-game win streak.

Sophomore goalkeeper Laurel Ivory (Surfside, Fla.) improved to 6-0-0 on the season despite surrendering her first goal of the year.

“It was a very challenging game, given the quality of Penn State and the weather,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought we played well on both sides of the ball. It was a great team effort, especially given the respect we have for Penn State.”

The Cavaliers struck first, finding the net in the sixth minute of play. Following a reset with a free kick near midfield after a Penn State foul, Virginia played the ball out wide down the far left side of the field to Taryn Torres (Frisco, Texas). Torres dribbled toward the end line and turned for her cross, sending the service into Westrup at the center of the box for the goal.

Jarrett extended the Cavaliers lead in the 40th minute with a shot from point-blank range. A free kick following a Penn State foul again set up the scoring opportunity as Montana Sutton (Bedminster, N.J.) served the free kick into the box where Lizzy Sieracki (Acworth, Ga.) headed it over the defense into the six-yard box. A Penn State defender moved to clear the ball, but Anna Sumpter (Charlottesville, Va.) slid in on a challenge, tapping the ball forward to Jarrett a moment ahead of the Penn State defender. Jarrett collected the ball and scored from three yards out.

Penn State scored in the 74th minute to cut the Virginia lead to one. The Nittany Lions took off on a counter and got a player out wide down the far left side of the field. She took her shot and it was stopped by Ivory, but it deflected as she couldn’t secure the ball and Kristin Schnurr put it in for Penn State to cut the lead to 2-1.

Virginia withstood the Penn State pressure down the stretch, turning away two more shots down the stretch from the home team to preserve the road win.

The Cavaliers will return to action on Friday (Sept. 15), opening Atlantic Coast Conference play at Virginia Tech. Kick for Friday’s contest is set for 5:30 p.m. in Blacksburg, Va.

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